Summer time signals the beginning of packing clothes, swim suits and other necessities for many students leaving for summer camps.
Christ Community Church, however, decided to change the formula this year and bring the camp to Ardmore.
Ardmoreites driving down Veterans Boulevard this week may notice a change to the church’s campus. Giant inflatable obstacles, biking areas and a rock-climbing wall transformed the campus into a summer camp adventure. The camp is part of Camp Eagle’s Adventure for the City program, which brings the camp experience to churches backyards.
“We literally take camp to churches,” Christian Scott, assistant director of Camp Eagle Adventure for the City, said. “We partnered with Christ Community Church this week to bring camp to these kids and help share the gospel.”
Scott said the camps aim to “bring Christ-like change through outdoor adventure, authentic relationships and Biblical truth.” Scott said Camp Eagle began Adventure for the City to bring the camp experience to those that can’t attend in person.
“We just like to meet people where they’re at,” Scott said. “Some parents just can’t get out to one of our locations and this helps us bring the community together.”
The camps are conducted across the nation, with the camp moving city to city for 10 weeks of full-week experiences. AnDina Wiley, director of children’s ministries at Christ Community Church, said the camp experience was brought in after the church reached out to Camp Eagle and the timing worked perfectly. Kids grades first to sixth from the Ardmore community and surrounding cities are now participating in the camp this week.
“At this stage they don’t really want to leave home and stay the night,” Wiley said. “So this gives them a chance to do the things that they’d do at an away camp but they do them here.”
While the rock wall, archery and games get a lot of the attention at the camp, the experience goes much deeper. Campers are introduced to the gospel and participate in bible studies and group discussions during the camp. Wiley said the camp serves as another opportunity for students to grow their faith in a fun environment. Having students from other communities also provides the opportunity for students to meet new friends.
“It’s been really exciting to see how the kids are,” Wiley said. “It’s really built relationships within their groups and their friendship groups both here at the church and in the community.”
Wiley said church members have taken notice of the events happening this week and are already asking if the camp will be back next year.
“They’re all excited with what’s going on,” Wiley said.